About Us

People around the world are fascinated about the preparation of food for eating. There are countless cooking books, TV shows, celebrity chefs and kitchen gadgets that make cooking an enjoyable activity for everyone. The chemistry of cooking course gives students the opportunity to explore the science behind our most popular meals by studying the behavior of atoms and molecules present in food. This course consists of three parts lecture and one part laboratory. Some of the concepts discussed are: chemical bonds, classification of matter, physical and chemical changes, macromolecules, stoichiometry, hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions, viscosity, acid-base reactions, gas law, catalysis, energy diagrams, crystallization and fermentation. The students learning outcomes for the course are: (a) students will be able to recognize and interpret chemical structures and chemical processes (b) students will be able to use chemistry language to explain the science behind cooking (c) students will be able to apply chemistry knowledge to solve questions related to food (d) students will be able to analyze energy diagrams and predict chemical reactions. Learning is measured via exams, group presentations, writing reports and in-class participation. The final exam is a lab activity simulating the popular TV show “Chopped” where the students use their chemistry knowledge to prepare a meal. This activity was featured in the AU website in the Fall 2014 as shown in the following link: http://www.american.edu/cas/news/chemistry-of-food-chopped-competition.cfm.